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Elegy Xvi: On His Mistress - Poem by John Donne

By our first strange and fatal interview,
By all desires which thereof did ensue,
By our long starving hopes, by that remorse
Which my words' masculine persuasive force
Begot in thee, and by the memory
Of hurts, which spies and rivals threatened me,
I calmly beg: but by thy father's wrath,
By all pains, which want and divorcement hath,
I conjure thee, and all the oaths which I
And thou have sworn to seal joint constancy,
Here I unswear, and overswear them thus,
Thou shalt not love by ways so dangerous.
Temper, O fair Love, love's impetuous rage,
Be my true Mistress still, not my feigned Page;
I'll go, and, by thy kind leave, leave behind
Thee, only worthy to nurse in my mind
Thirst to come back; O if thou die before,
My soul from other lands to thee shall soar.
Thy (else Almighty) beauty cannot move
Rage from the Seas, nor thy love teach them love,
Nor tame wild Boreas' harshness; thou hast read
How roughly he in pieces shivered
Fair Orithea, wbom he swore he loved.
Fall ill or good, 'tis madness to have proved
Dangers unurged; feed on this flattery,
That absent Lovers one in th' other be.
Dissemble nothing, not a boy, nor change
Thy body's habit, nor mind's; be not strange
To thyself only; all will spy in thy face
A blushing womanly discovering grace;
Ricbly clothed Apes are called Apes, and as soon
Eclipsed as bright we call the Moon the Moon.
Men of France, changeable chameleons,
Spitals of diseases, shops of fashions,
Love's fuellers, and the rightest company
Of Players, which upon the world's stage be,
Will quickly know thee, and no less, alas!
Th' indifferent Italian, as we pass
His warm land, well content to think thee Page,
Will hunt thee with such lust, and hideous rage,
As Lot's fair guests were vexed. But none of these
Nor spongy hydroptic Dutch shall thee displease,
If thou stay here. O stay here, for, for thee
England is only a worthy gallery,
To walk in expectation, till from thence
Our greatest King call thee to his presence.
When I am gone, dream me some happiness,
Nor let thy looks our long-hid love confess,
Nor praise, nor dispraise me, nor bless nor curse
Openly love's force, nor in bed fright thy Nurse
With midnight's startings, crying out—oh, oh
Nurse, O my love is slain, I saw him go
O'er the white Alps alone; I saw him, I,
Assailed, fight, taken, stabbed, bleed, fall, and die.
Augur me better chance, except dread Jove
Think it enough for me t' have had thy love.


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Poems About Elegy

  1. 1. Elegy Written In A Country Churchyard , Thomas Gray
  2. 2. Elegy , Dylan Thomas
  3. 3. Elegy For Jane , Theodore Roethke
  4. 4. Duino Elegies: The First Elegy , Rainer Maria Rilke
  5. 5. Elegy In April And September , Wilfred Owen
  6. 6. Elegy Xix: To His Mistress Going To Bed , John Donne
  7. 7. Duino Elegies: The Tenth Elegy , Rainer Maria Rilke
  8. 8. Elegy To The Memory Of An Unfortunate Lady , Alexander Pope
  9. 9. An Imperial Elegy , Wilfred Owen
  10. 10. Duino Elegies: The Fourth Elegy , Rainer Maria Rilke
  11. 11. Elegy Xvi: On His Mistress , John Donne
  12. 12. A Satirical Elegy On The Death Of A Late.. , Jonathan Swift
  13. 13. An Elegy On The Death Of Kenneth Patchen , Lawrence Ferlinghetti
  14. 14. Elegy Ix: The Autumnal , John Donne
  15. 15. Elegy In The Classroom , Anne Sexton
  16. 16. Elegy I , Rainer Maria Rilke
  17. 17. Elegy Xviii: Love's Progress , John Donne
  18. 18. Elegy I: Jealousy , John Donne
  19. 19. Elegy X: The Dream , John Donne
  20. 20. Elegy Xiii: His Parting From Her , John Donne
  21. 21. Elegy X , Rainer Maria Rilke
  22. 22. An Elegy On The Death Of A Mad Dog , Oliver Goldsmith
  23. 23. Elegy Iv: The Perfume , John Donne
  24. 24. March Elegy , Anna Akhmatova
  25. 25. Elegy V: His Picture , John Donne
  26. 26. Elegy Vii , John Donne
  27. 27. Elegy In A Country Churchyard , Gilbert Keith Chesterton
  28. 28. Elegy Iii: Change , John Donne
  29. 29. Elegy , Siegfried Sassoon
  30. 30. Elegy Upon Tiger , Jonathan Swift
  31. 31. Elegy , Joseph Brodsky
  32. 32. Elegy Ii: The Anagram , John Donne
  33. 33. From The Tenth Elegy , Rainer Maria Rilke
  34. 34. Elegy Iv , Rainer Maria Rilke
  35. 35. Elegy Vi , John Donne
  36. 36. An Elegy In Frost , Sandra Fowler
  37. 37. Elegy Viii: The Comparison , John Donne
  38. 38. Elegy V , Ovid
  39. 39. An Elegy On A Lap-Dog , John Gay
  40. 40. Elegy , Alan Dugan
  41. 41. Elegy Xvi: The Expostulation , John Donne
  42. 42. Elegy , Carolyn Forché
  43. 43. Elegy For Tibullus , Ovid
  44. 44. An Elegy Upon James Therburn, In Chatto , James Thomson
  45. 45. Elegy Before Death , Edna St. Vincent Millay
  46. 46. Elegy , Edna St. Vincent Millay
  47. 47. Elegy To Time , Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel ..
  48. 48. Love: An Elegy , Mark Akenside
  49. 49. Elegy , Ambrose Bierce
  50. 50. Elegy Xvii: On His Mistress , John Donne
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